Here are six things Americans care more about than Jan. 6th.
1.) Cost of Living Is Too High
The average household in the United States spent around $3,500 more in 2021 “to achieve the same level of consumption of goods and services as in recent previous years (2019 or 2020).” These are the findings released by the Penn Wharton Budget Model, a nonpartisan, research-based initiative. Low-income households are hit the worst.
Excessive federal government spending will increase the risks of inflation — which drives up the costs of food, gas, and housing, along with other consumer items. More spending will likely make it worse.
President Ronald Reagan had it right when he said, “Inflation — that’s the price we pay for those government benefits everybody thought were free.” Joe Biden’s radical spending spree isn’t free, and billionaires aren’t paying for it. The average American is paying for it.
2.) Dignity of Work
As if high prices weren’t enough, liberals push policies that reward people who don’t work. I warned about this repeatedly at the start of the pandemic, when federal politicians dramatically increased unemployment assistance.
Making people whole — mainly when it was the government’s actions that caused them to lose their paychecks — is fine. But paying people much, much more than they were making before the shutdowns is not. Initially, some workers were making double their previous wages. Who was going to return to work to take a massive cut in take-home pay?
Thomas Sowell accurately stated that “you cannot subsidize irresponsibility and expect people to become more responsible.” Blue-collar workers are already paying for the higher costs of food, gas, and housing. Now, they should not be forced to pay for those who refuse to work.
3.) Lower and More Fair Taxes
As opposed to Soviet-era price controls, spending controls will help lower inflation. That will help drive down costs and let them keep Americans more of their own hard-earned money. So would lower taxes.
Joe Biden and other liberals continue to push for a “fairer system” with higher taxes on people making more than $400,000 per year. Others talk about making billionaires pay higher taxes. History has shown that the middle class will get stuck with much of the bill.
A flat tax is a better alternative. If you make ten times more than someone else, you pay ten times more in taxes. No loopholes. No gimmicks. Everyone pays their fair share. Lower and more fair taxes are rightfully popular.
4.) Parental Involvement in Education of their Children
Speaking of fairness, parents want to be involved in their children’s education. One of the few bright spots from the global pandemic is the awakening of parents. Forced to keep their children at home, many parents have seen with their own eyes what their children have been missing out on in school. Worse yet, many have seen the horrible things actually being taught to their children.
Arizona Governor Doug Ducey announced this week that eligible families would be allowed to take their children’s education dollars elsewhere if the government-run school closes. That should put the teachers union bosses on notice. Show up, or we will give your pay to the parents who are now stuck training to provide an education to their children.
5.) Patient-Centered Health Care
One of the clearest things to come out of the pandemic is that Americans want more control of their health care. We don’t want to be treated like a statistic. We want real control.
States like Florida, where they protected their vulnerable populations and let the rest of the people work with their medical professionals to determine their individual strategy, did well. States like New York, where former Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s policies forced COVID-positive patients into nursing homes with vulnerable populations, did not fare well.
We want leaders who put their faith in the people rather than the government. Actions in 2020 and 2021 painted a clear picture between elected officials in blue and red jurisdictions. We don’t want to rely on a government that can’t get its facts straight or set up a functional website.
6.) Fair Elections
Concerns over election integrity were heard by a larger audience in 2021, but they have been around for years. During my first year in office, I signed a law in Wisconsin requiring a state-issued photo ID to vote. Wisconsin and other states made other changes to improve the election process.
In 2022 and beyond, leaders must ensure that state and local elections officials enforce the laws currently in effect. There must also be absolute transparency. Legitimacy requires transparency.
Everyday Americans care far more about these six issues than they do about what took place a year ago, on Jan. 6th. It is time to stop ignoring the real issues faced by the American people.
• Scott Walker is the president of Young America’s Foundation and served as the 45th governor of Wisconsin from 2011 to 2019.
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